Tasting Notes: Anne de K Riesling

Another spicy shrimp dish, another Riesling. I don't want to tire you out on this combo, but this is the third time we've had this duo and it works pretty great, if I do say so myself. I went to Total Wine on a whim this past weekend and knew we were having our new favorite spicy shrimp dish, so I headed straight for the Alsace area. For those of you that are tired of hearing about Alsatian Rieslings, have no fear... I think I've exhausted Total Wine's affordable selection!

The Facts

  • Producer: Anne de K
  • Region: Alsace, France
  • Vintage: 2012
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $14.99
  • Eyes: This wine was a pale, straw yellow color. This is to be expected given the region it's from. We actually did a blind tasting class that had an off-dry German Riesling, and it was much more of a yellow color than the Alsatian Rieslings we've had.
     
  • Nose: There were aromas of pear and apple. It smelled sweeter than I expected, but I think that was my brain playing tricks on me. As I've said before, we associate fruitiness with sweetness, but most fruity wines that I drink are not sweet.
     
  • Mouth: The wine had a prominent apple flavor come through, which is typical of Riesling. It was definitely a dry Riesling, but was fruity. There were also notes of honey, and as expected, there was a minerality to it. The wine was fuller in flavor but less acidic than others I've had. It was still tasty, but I think I lean toward the wines that really give a "zing" of acidity. 
     
  • Thoughts: This Riesling was quite good, especially for the price point. It obviously paired well with the spice in our dinner due to the lower alcohol content. This Riesling was only 12% ABV. I STRONGLY recommend that if you like spicy food, try pairing it with a Riesling. I really think you'll be surprised at how well they go together. I wouldn't say there is a standout among the Rieslings we've had lately, since they've all been good, but this one wins on price point. I have a feeling it will be our go to whenever we have a spicy dish.

Rating:

Tasting Notes: Albrecht Riesling Tradition

Remember a while back when I said I went to Total Wine and stocked up on summer wines? This was one of them. How did I pick this one out? No reason other than it is a Riesling from Alsace. Alsace is known for having excellent dry Rieslings, and since French wine has been on the mind of late, it was made for my wine stash! If you want to read more about Alsace, this is a great post by Wine Folly that gives some background on the region. 

Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I got a new wine tasting notebook that helps guide through tasting notes. I was super excited to finally put it to use! If you're interested in a notebook to give you tips and help guide you, De Long's is excellent. It's only about $7 and you can find it here on Amazon (YAY for Prime!). 

The Facts

  • Producer: Lucien Albrecht
  • Region: Alsace, France
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $18.99
  • Eyes: This wine was a pale yellow color and was clear. I learned from my journal that a clear wine is what we want as haziness can indicate spoilage in the wine, and no one wants that. 
     
  • Nose: The Riesling had an aromatic nose, specifically it had a strong aroma of yellow apple. There were also some floral notes... it smelled pretty. I also learned what "development" meant in relation to the aroma, and that helps identify the age of the wine. De Long states that a young wine will usually have a fragrance that is characteristic of the grape variety. I would definitely say that apple is characteristic of Riesling, so I went with youthful. This also makes sense given the vintage is 2014, but this trick would help in a deductive or blind tasting scenario.
     
  • Mouth: I got lots of apple or tree fruit and even some white fruit, which includes pear. As is to be expected from Alsace, this Riesling was dry with fresh acidity. It wasn't overly acidic but had enough to give it some oomph. Overall, it just tasted good. The flavor of the wine lingered, but not annoyingly so. To me, this wine felt balanced.
     
  • Thoughts: This was a great Riesling! It was very pleasant and easy to drink, which is important in the summer time. Kevin and I were looking for something to pair with our favorite spicy shrimp dish (recipe is here), so I knew low alcohol was important. This Riesling was the lowest we had on hand at 12% ABV, and it worked great! I enjoyed the playing the fruit of the wine against the spice, too. The price was a little towards the higher-end for an every day choice, but I was definitely not disappointed by the wine's flavor considering the cost.

Rating:

Note: The Amazon link herein is an affiliate link.

Tasting Notes: Bonterra Riesling

Every now and then, Harris Teeter has case sales and half case sales, so I like to stock up on wines to try out during these sales. Since Kevin has professed his love for Rieslings, I thought I'd give this Bonterra Riesling a try. Bonterra has received good ratings from Wine Enthusiast and they are an organic winery, so I was curious to see how an organic wine compares.

The Facts

  • Producer: Bonterra Organic Vineyards
  • Region: Mendocino County, CA
  • Vintage: 2010
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Grocery store - Harris Teeter
  • Price: $12.99
  • Eyes: This wine was VERY golden yellow. I know Rieslings can be on a spectrum, but I was quite surprised at how golden this wine was. It was unlike any other Riesling we had tired.
     
  • Nose: To be frank, this wine smelled uninviting. The aromas were not appealing and I didn't even really want to try the wine. We had experienced this once before at an "open cellar" tasting with a Riesling, so I powered through, but it had a strong petrol or gas smell to it. I also picked up on notes of apricot, which did not bode well since apricot is not my favorite.
     
  • Mouth: The bottle indicated this wine was "medium dry" to "dry", so I was surprised with how sweet it tasted, and I definitely picked up on apricot. This wine was not crisp or refreshing like other Rieslings I have had and it just didn't taste good to me. 
     
  • Thoughts: This was a total dud. The aroma and flavor were just not our profiles at all. At this price point, I didn't even waste my time trying to finish the glass. I am bound to hit a few duds every now and then, so chalk it up to a learning experience. We definitely prefer the light and crisp, citrus-y Rieslings over this one which had more tree fruit, so California just may not be the region for us... we'll stick with Germany or Austria. I am not totally out on Bonterra, though. I'm sure I'll pick up one of their other varietals in the future. 

Rating:

Tasting Notes: Höpler Riesling

Kevin has declared that he loves Riesling. I think we had it at a tasting once and he was surprised by the dry Riesling, so ever since then he has tried to find good Rieslings by the glass when we go to restaurants with respectable wine lists. When we were in Highlands about a month ago, the wine shop had an Austrian Riesling on their machines. I tasted it, liked it, and bought a bottle to do a more official tasting at home. 

The Facts

  • Producer: Höpler
  • Region: Burgenland, Austria
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Mountaintop Wine Shoppe*, Highlands, NC
  • Price: $19.99

*Mountaintop Wine Shoppe in Highlands, North Carolina. If you're ever vacationing there, check it out! They are the nicest people with a GREAT selection and great prices. Bobby, the owner, is super knowledgeable and friendly. It's difficult for us to leave without a case to take home.

  • Eyes: This wine was a clear, pale yellow color and almost had a greenish tint to it. It was not very viscous which implies lower alcohol. This is normal for Riesling since they tend to have more sugar content. Most people associate Riesling with sweet wines, but in fact, there can be (and this particular one is) a dry Riesling. This wine had about 11% alcohol, so the viscosity did not lie!
     
  • Nose: This white smelled very good. There were notes of lemon citrus, green apple, and peach. Doesn't all of those flavors sounds awesome? It was like spring or summer in a glass.
     
  • Mouth: This wine is super refreshing! I served it "refrigerator" cold and it was perfect for the warm evening we were having. The fruitiness that was on the nose definitely came through when I actually tried it, and I could especially taste the apple. It was tangy and acidic and everything I like in a white wine.
     
  • Thoughts: This is a great choice! As I mentioned above, it's everything I want in a white wine... fruity, acidic, and refreshing. I liked the apple notes a lot and the smell was delicious. I know Riesling gets a bad rap in the United States for being a super sweet wine, but that doesn't have to be the case. I am going to have to agree with my husband on this one and say that dry Rieslings are definitely a wine I will have to start drinking more of! 

As a random side note, I came across this post about the winemaker of Höpler (a Höpler himself) on Wine for Normal People. Check it out if you'd like to read more about the winery!

Rating: